Friday, December 11, 2009

His "never-leave-home-without-it" filter helped capture this real Mexican beauty

Jay Goodrich recently traveled to Mexico with his entire extended family -- and one Singh-Ray filter. This trip was primarily for a much-needed break after an extremely busy winter of shooting for clients. "Even professional photographers," says Jay, "need a true vacation from shooting from time to time. Because I wasn’t planning on working a lot, I chose not to bring a huge amount of equipment. I grabbed one camera body, two lenses, a cable release, a tripod, and one of my Singh-Ray 3-stop hard-step Graduated Neutral Density filters. This one filter is my 'never leave home without it' filter.

"One evening on our walk home after exploring Playa del Carmen, Mexico, the heavy cloud cover we were experiencing all day began to break up. I knew the sky was going to have the potential to become a spectacular sunset. I decided to run back to the house ahead of my family members to grab my camera. Our house was only a block from a prime beach location I had been looking at every day as we ventured out to the main avenue of town. I decided to see if mother nature was going to cooperate.

"As the sun began to dip near the horizon, I set up my camera and tripod. I mounted my Canon 5D with 16-35mm f2.8 lens onto a Gitzo carbon fiber tripod, with a Kirk BH-1 ballhead, and my Singh-Ray 3-stop hard-step ND Grad. My camera was set to AV (or aperture value) at f/22. I needed the help of my wife and her brother to get the image just right. My brother-in-law stood in the water just out of frame to create the swirling effect in the wave. I hand-held the filter in the location I predetermined by holding down my depth-of-field preview button. My wife released the shutter with my cable release.

"I captured a total of about a 1,000 images during this ten-day trip. To put that number in perspective, if this trip were for work, I would have arrived home with close to 10,000 images."

Jay's image has since been selected for publication in the upcoming issue of Nature’s Best Magazine. Awarding him the honor of "highly commended photographer" in this year’s Windland Smith Rice International Awards. For more information about his work head to his website and blog.

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